LETTER FROM BROTHER
NORMAN DAWKINS

Dear Brother Fowokan,

Forgive the delay in my response. Along with being awed by your work, it
seems as I get older, there is a lot on the table. Thank you again for letting
me share some of my journey. It's my hope that we continue to correspond.

Attached is a letter that touches upon my own experience in Diaspora. I look forward to your thoughts.

First, let me say, your work is very moving and inspiring. Learning about Len Garrison, too, lifted my spirit. As you say, it’s so very important for us as a people to know
who we are, and not allow others to define us. As for myself, I spent my early years in what’s known as the Geechee part of South Carolina, USA. There, the majority of people are of African origin and much of the West African Culture is retained. Like in Jamaica, we speak with an accent. It’s known as Geechee. It was only in recent years, did I discover why “everything be spoke in the present tense.” In our culture, time is one continuum. Therefore, when I say, “my great grandmamma always tell me to stay out dem night air, cause there be pisons in dem night air”, it happens for me now and
not in the past. The poisons in the air to which she referred, are now known as
air-borne viruses. Not surprisingly, the word “virus” comes from the Latin word
for poison. As you may know, in the Traditional West African medicine, all
disease has its source in some form of poison. This is acknowledged in
Eurocentric medical science also. However, in their point of view, these
poisons are labelled as in-organic toxins and/or organic bacteria/viruses. This
brings us to an important point that you discuss about our heroes.

During the first half of the 1700’s, in Colonial South Carolina, many Africans slaves died from pneumonia and other disease. This was largely due to their over exertion during
the rice harvest season. Sweating from the exhaustive work of rice harvesting
during the day, their poorly clothed bodies were vulnerable during the colder
night time. Since rice generated the most wealth during this period, slaves
were the most valuable commodity. Consequently, deaths among slaves created a
greater demand for the importation of slaves from Africa. It is during this
period that the Spirit reveals healing herbs to the Obeah Caesar, later known
as Doctor Caesar. Witnessing the recovery of slaves, stricken with deadly
disease, prominent Europeans begin calling upon Caesar as physician. In 1749, a
contentious hearing took place in which arguments were made for and against the
use of Caesar’s Cure. In May of 1750, the hearing concluded by granting Caesar
freedom and an annual payment of 100Lbs per year for the remainder of his life.
100Lbs was the equivalent salary of the highest paid white worker of that day.
By gaining access to Caesar’s Cure, deaths of many slaves were reduced.
Thereby, his Cure reduced the demand for the importation of slaves from Africa.
It also reduced the further depletion of the African people.

Like with African Art, Traditional African Medicine is labelled, primitive. Of course when
Picasso appropriated African Art, his is described as abstract. The same
principle is at play with the Medicine of our Ancestors. Modern day research
shows plants used by Caesar as exhibiting curative properties for many
diseases. Yet, Europeans do not acknowledge this. There is much to share on
this subject. Another asset passed on to me by my Great grandmother, is Intuitive and non-verbal communication. I was told that many, who know me, don’t like to hold conversations with me because I begin talking about whatever is on their minds.

As for me I’m not conscious of this, it simply happens. And, to some I simply have a big imagination. That being said, a great portion of my life consists of efforts to publicize Caesar’s Cure. For you see, like the poisons described, the most
debilitating poisons are those of the mind. If removed, it allows us to regain
our awareness of who we are and the enormity of power we possess as a people.

Yes, Brother Fowokan! You do have my permission to put the information
on your website. I consider it an honour for you to do so. Attached are words
related to our Spiritual Heritage.

 

Traditional African Spirituality

 

The greatest Power we possess as a people is that of the Spirit. Here again, we’ve
allowed others to define us. They also imposed their negative concepts to our
experience of God. In the West African Spiritual Tradition, God is a Spirit!
This Spirit is the same in all places and at all times. The Spirit pervades
each and everything. Contrary to Europeans notions, the depictions of God in
various forms, does not mean we worship many Gods. In our culture, the Spirit
of God is in the air, water, earth, plants, animals, man…everything.  So, when we say, “…the Spirit is in the air, tree, water…” we are not worshiping different Gods. We are worshiping the one God, the Spirit, in all. This same perception is stated in the words of Christ when he said, “God is a Spirit and should be worshiped in Spirit and Truth.”
Here, we should note, Christ too was appropriated by Europeans. The Bible
states that his skin was as burnished bronze and his hair as lamb’s wool. This
description is in no way, white with blue eyes and blond hair, as portray in
European paintings. Further, the Bible also states that when Joseph and Mary
fled King Herod’s decree to slay the infants, they carried Jesus to Egypt and
lived with their cousins. Prior to the Arab conquest of Egypt in 639 A.D.,
Egyptians did not have the same physical appearance, as they have today. We see
similar features in Jews from Ethiopia.

The above perspective is best shown in the story of a 4 year old boy who,
reflecting on his Elders’ teachings about the Spirit, sat under a tree and
began observing and contemplating everything around him. As he observed the
ants going about their work, the grass, soil, clouds and the tree on which he
leaned his back, a thought occurred to him. He looked down upon his own body.
Absorbed in what he’d seen, he returned to his mother and asked this question,
as he held out his hands, “Ma, these are my hands, right?” His mother said,
“Yes”. He extended his arms and asked, “And, are these my arms, too?” Again his
mother affirmed those were his arms. The little boy proceeded to name each and every part of his body, and asking the same question, as to whether they belonged to him.
Each time, his mother affirmed they belonged to him. Then the little boy asked,
“If all of these belong to me, then who am I?” This story seems to say a lot
about who we are…

This link is to a rarely seen video of Martin
Luther King, Jr., making the same assertions, as only he can do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Muet41vnSk

Thank you again, Norman Dawkins.